A Beginner’s Guide to Poker

Poker is a card game that requires skill and patience. You must also commit to smart game selection if you want to become a successful player.

To play, players must “buy in” to the game with a set number of chips. Typically, white chips are worth a minimum ante or bet amount, reds are worth five whites and blues are worth ten or 20 whites.

Each poker game has different rules. Some variations use multiple decks and add cards called jokers.

The standard poker pack consists of 52 cards ranked from high to low. There are four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs) and no suit is higher than another.

After each deal, players in turn make a bet or raise, which means they put into the pot more chips than the player before them. If a player does not call or raise, they must “fold” (“drop”), which means they remove all of their chips from the pot and are out of the betting until the next deal.

Top players fold the vast majority of their weak hands and only risk money on strong ones. They do this to avoid losing their entire bankroll on a bad hand that will soon be busted.

If you’re a beginner, start playing poker in small cash games or practice sessions. This way, you’ll get a feel for the game and learn its rules. However, don’t overplay or spend too much time in one session; you’ll only end up wasting your money.